White Bean and Miso Soup with Harissa Roasted Tomatoes

Bowl of soup topped with roasted tomatoes and harissa oil.

This rich, silky White Bean and Miso Soup with Harissa Roasted Tomatoes is a mash up of two excellent recipes I made at the start of winter, which i think come together in the perfect creamy bowlful perfect for the last of these chilly winter days, as we start to thing about introducing warmer weather foods into our diets. The soup is pure winter, but the harissa roasted tomatoes? I’ll be making them from now through until autumn!

Bowl of tomato topped soup next to a dish of roasted tomatoes.
Close up of a bowl of white bean and miso soup with harissa roasted tomatoes.

Shall we start with the soup? In her newsletter last October, Carolina Gelen shared a ‘lazy day’ soup of blitzed butter beans cooked with shallots and cream, without any stock to give a clean, pure flavour, and using water instead of stock for natural seasoning. And honestly? It was one of the best soups I’ve made this soup season (seriously up there with my Carrot, Cumin & Red Lentil Soup with Hazelnut Dukkah) – rich, creamy, sultry ands perfectly savoury. When I was making it I subbed her canned beans with jarred and their stock, which I’ve done here, but honestly, I’ve only made minor changes to her recipe other than blending it smooth to make it more re-heating friendly (I had to add a mit more liquid to hers the next day!)

Harissa roasted tomatoes in a stone dish.

She served it with a generous topping of chilli and cumin roasted cherry tomatoes, which in my mind fell a little flat. But, when I was heating up the second portion of soup for lunch the next day I topped it off with some of the luxuriously smokey and spicy harissa roasted cherry tomatoes I’d made from Diana Henry’s cookbook Simplead, the standout element of a carrot hummus / yogurt / tomato / sourdough toast number that otherwise fell flat (but still get the book as there are some absolute gems in there like Persian Scrambled Eggs and a next-level Bacon and Egg Risotto).

Those harissa roasted tomatoes were what made the soup. And hence this recipe mash-up was born!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned instead of jarred butter beans?

Yes, just make sure you use a high-powered blender to make a super smooth soup. You might also need to add a little more miso paste to season the soup properly as most canned beans are not cooked with salt.

Can I use any other type of beans to make this soup?

It’s why I’ve called this a ‘white bean and miso soup’ instead of a ‘butter bean and miso soup’ – any type of white bean will work well here.

Do I have to use white miso paste in this recipe?

I think the flavour suits the beans best (I always use Miso Tasty brand), and besides, it will disappear the easiest for a silky smooth soup. But, in a pinch you can use red miso or Korean doenjang paste. I’d avoid brown miso though which can be quite rough in texture.

Is it easy to make this butter bean soup recipe vegan?

Yes! Carolina’s original recipe gave the option of using coconut milk instead of double cream.

Can I make the harissa roasted tomatoes ahead?

Yes, they’re one of my favourite things to prep ahead and I usually double the batch – they’re great on avocado or hummus toast for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack. Simply store them for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge, but bring them up to room temperature before using them to top bowls of soup – the olive oil and the oil from the harissa you’ve used to cook them will solidify at low temperatures, and besides, who wants cold tomatoes on hot soup?!

Bowl of white bean and miso soup with roasted tomatoes on top.

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Close up of a bowl of white bean and miso soup with harissa roasted tomatoes.

White Bean and Miso Soup with Harissa Roasted Tomatoes

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Soup
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This luxuriously rich and creamy white bean and miso soup recipe is perfect for chilly lunchtimes, topped with a back-pocket recipe for harissa roasted tomatoes (this recipe makes a double batch) that are also delicious tossed with pasta, on top of avocado toast or mixed into grain bowls and salads.



For the Harissa Roasted Tomatoes

  •  300g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked chilli harissa (see note)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

For the White Bean and Miso Soup

  • 1 tbsp light oil
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 x 570g jar butter beans
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp white miso paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Cut half the tomatoes in half, and keep the rest whole, arranging them in a single snug layer in an oven-proof dish, cut side up. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and harissa, and drizzle it over the tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over the brown sugar. Roast for 45 minutes until the tomatoes are soft, and the cut tomatoes are starting to caramelise. 
  2. Once the tomatoes are in the oven, get started on the soup. Warm the oil over a medium heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the shallot, peeled and finely sliced. Cook gently until completely soft, but not yet starting to colour. 
  3. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves, stirring them into the shallots along with the cumin seeds. Cook for a further few minutes until the garlic pieces are soft and aromatic.
  4. Drain the butter beans over a measuring jug – reserving the stock from the jar – and stir them into the shallot mixture. Taste the stock, if it is pleasant (with most jarred beans it should be, canned beans not so much!) top it up to 450ml with cold water and add it to the pan.
  5. Raise the heat to bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, leaving it to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  6. Combine the cornstarch with 2 tsp of cold water to make a smooth paste. Drizzle this into the soup, stirring constantly until the soup liquid starts to noticeably thicken. 
  7. Remove from the heat, and add the double cream and 1/2 tsp of the miso paste. Using a stick blender, blitz until smooth. Taste to see if it needs more salt, if so add the other 1/2 tsp of miso – the amount of salt needed will depend on the amount of salt your beans were cooked with – this recipe was written with a 570g jar of Bold Bean Co. Queen Butter Beans (supermarkets sell their beans in smaller jars than their website and independent shops!)
  8. Return the pan to the heat and reduce to low, simply warming the soup through for 5 minutes before serving in warm bowls with a generous few spoonfuls of tomatoes and a good drizzle of the flavoured oil from the bottom of the tomato dish.


I love the extra flavour element of smoked chilli harissa here (Belazu make a great one) but any harissa will work here.